REVIEW: Superman #18

Superman #18 is here and we’ve known its been coming for sometime now and Superman #17 made it feel all the more real. Well, the secret has finally been revealed. Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same, and with such a momentous issue, the cover needs to be equally as memorable.

Well, interior artist Ivan Reis has created a simple yet very memorable cover that conveys exactly what needs to be said in a very modest fashion. Totally representative of Clark’s ethos and mentality. The addition of the white background really allows for the image of Superman to pop and take centre stage. I just love the simplicity of this cover. It really is all you need. Issues of this importance usually herald multiple covers, however I believe that just wouldn’t align with Superman’s way of thinking.

Superman #18 cover
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The variant cover created by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair is a very dynamic piece of art that depicts the Man of Steel in a very powerful pose. I love the realistic approach the artist has taken. The muscle tone of Superman’s physique is powerful yet understated. I love how the grey and monochrome background allows for Superman to pop off the page. Very striking indeed.

Superman 18 variant cover

Superman’s secret identity has remained a closely guarded secret for almost the entirety of his 80 year existence. We’ve seen characters ‘outed’ in the past such as Daredevil and Superman himself within the pages of the New 52, but this feels different, this feels grander and more irreversible. In many ways this reminds me of the time Spiderman revealed his identity to the world back in 2007 during the inaugural Civil War.

Like then, this seismic shift to the status quo not only pertaining to Superman’s life but that of the DC Universe as a whole feels monumental. This ‘shift’ feels like the beginning of a new era for the DC Universe and the audience alike. Superman’s secret identity is entrenched in the fabric of Americana almost as much as the man himself. This is a status quo I thought I’d always see remain the same.

Superman #18 feels like a very personal issue as the Man of Steel goes about revealing his secret to his nearest and dearest before announcing it to the world. Straight off the bat, I adore this issue. This certainly feels like a water shed moment. A momentous issue and incredibly important piece of DC Comics’ history. Even thought the ramifications of this event will be felt vast and wide, the issue remains very personal.

This issue contains one of the most emotional pages you will ever gaze upon in any issue of Superman – the reveal to Perry White. No dialogue needed just Ivan Reis doing what he does best. This will surely go down in history as one of DC Comics most iconic and important images there is. The emotion and reactions conveyed by our heroes and villains as the news spreads is both intriguing and incredible to see too. This issue features some wonderful reactions and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

This very well maybe the greatest example of Ivan Reis’ work to date. Every page is full of creative page layouts that are totally different and unique from each other and never repeat. Every page captures the full scope and grandeur of the events taking place. The colours in this issue are a sight to behold. Everything feels so vibrant and full of positive energy. Every page feels joyous and marries up to the theme of this issue that I will happily stand up and say is that of joy, hope and celebration.

This reveal feels very organic indeed. As discussed in the issue itself,  this really isn’t the same man who first appeared 80 years ago. This isn’t the same man from 10 years ago. Superman is a character who constantly evolves and changes almost alongside us. This change in Superman’s life will be a challenge but perhaps a needed one. Personally I can’t quite see how this can possibly end well for The Kent family however if anyone was going to be able to plot this course for the Man of Steel,  it had to be the one and only Brian Michael Bendis.

Bendis is synonymous with crafting life changing events that effect our beloved heroes head on, be it the ‘outing’ of the aforementioned Daredevil or death of Peter Parker – the Ultimate Spiderman. Bendis seems most comfortable when he is challenging our beloved characters almost to the point of breaking.  I cannot wait to see what this mastermind has in store for Superman next.   

Haven’t picked up your copy of Superman #18 yet? You can get the standard cover by Ivan Reis here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Bryan Hitch, you can pick that up here.

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